Tuscan White Bean Soup for Sophia

Breath Of Gaia: Divine Mother Earth

In Yoga, as our revered Dr. Frawley teaches, the feminine divine possesses three primary aspects: power, beauty, knowledge. Through the worship of these energies as Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati we worship Shakti in her cosmic dance of transformation, prosperity and illumination leading to our soul’s final purpose ~ Cit-Shakti, or Ultimate Reality.


In sacred remembrance of this Truth, my fellow Yogins and I gather every year with Divine Women of our community to celebrate the Sacred Feminine. We call it The Sophia Conference, in honor of the goddess of wisdom, whose loving grace flows through all life, and whose power is available to all who choose to turn inward towards this Cit-Shakti.

Sri Yantra: Matrix of the Heart

Sharing a meal with women in a sacred experience like this is so… well, holy, that considering what to serve for lunch becomes its own sacred contemplation. As is so often the case whenever I surrender to Sophia, answers come in a flash.

This time, the answer came as Tuscan White Bean Soup: a hearty, flavorful soup from Anna Watson Carl’s charming blog, The Yellow Table. I’ve adapted her recipe for Vegetarians and will serve it with whole grain breads for a warming bowl of love on what is predicted to be a cold, rainy day. Our menu also includes Roasted Vegetables, Red Quinoa, Autumnal dips, a plate of Artisanal Cheeses with my Ayurvedic Jam, and many Vegan options. But, like the Moon in a sky of stars, the Soup will be the prime heavenly light.


Why? Blended with root vegetables and Autumn herbs of rosemary and thyme, this soup is like a song of earth’s bounty. There is something, too, about white beans ~ navy, northern, small white, and cannellini ~ that seem so feminine to me. Maybe it’s their shape, with its smooth curves, every one unique, or its almost perfect, creamy skin. But it is their sweet, enduring taste that most assures. I’ll give you power, beauty, wisdom, this protein-packed pod of purity seems to say. I am here for you.

The Yellow Table’s Tuscan White Bean Soup with Chard

Vegan Sausage gives this soup lovely texture and added flavor. Try Field Roast for their Vegan Grain version. For the Sophia Conference we added their Smoked Apple Sage, but I’ve enjoyed this soup with their Italian Sausage. It’s thematic ~ and  spicier. You can make the entire soup Vegan by leaving out the Parmesan rind, but you might add a few soaked cashews in that case to give it that extra bit of heft.

We serve it with fresh grated Parmesan cheese which finishes the soup with just the right note of dry, salty, enriching sweet!

Click for Print Version

I hope you enjoy it. Remember with every delicious bite, that Food is Divine Love seeking to nourish the power, beauty, and intelligence within you. May your Light shine!

Happy 11.11.11 ~

Chestnut Porcini Soup

Chestnut Porcini Soup

I found this recipe in Edible San Diego, a wonderful new magazine about local farms, markets and restaurants. It is featured in a profile of Patrick Ponsaty, Chef de Cuisine at Mistral, a restaurant overlooking San Diego Bay.

The original was not vegetarian, but with some adaptations is now a perfect “Opening” to our Christmas dinner. It would also make a great meal for those days after Christmas, when you want something hearty and hale. It’s certainly a creative way to use up any Chestnuts remaining from Christmas!

Makes 5-6 servings

1 yellow onion, medium dice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 bouquet thyme
1 pound porcini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1 pound white mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
4 ounces white wine
9 ounces chestnuts
42 ounces vegetable stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon black truffle oil
4 ounces heavy cream
1 sprig cilantro, for garnish

In a medium stockpot, sweat onions in olive oil until translucent, then add chopped garlic and thyme. Add ⅓ of mushrooms and cook them until sweated out. Repeat with the next ⅓ and the next ⅓ until all mushrooms are cooked.

Once mushrooms have evaporated and have started to caramelize, deglaze with white wine.  After all alcohol in wine has evaporated add chestnuts. Cover with chicken stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 30–45 minutes.

Remove from heat and add truffle oil. Place small amounts in a blender, add a splash of cream each time and blend until smooth. Repeat this process until all is blended. Use a whisk to mix all the batches together.

Check for seasoning and serve hot. Garnish with cilantro if desired.


Mistral is the signature restaurant at Loews Coronado Bay Resort.

Rainy Sunday Soup

Sunday Soup

We have much to be grateful for this Sunday before Thanksgiving. It has been raining, pouring actually, for three days now. There is so much rain it has begun to drip down through the light fixtures in the living room ceiling. But we caught it in time, and for that we are grateful.

We are grateful, too, for the rain because we live in a “coastal desert” climate where rain is unusual and welcome, especially in this fire season when every drop of rain counts!

Rain keeps us indoors where we light a fire, play board games, tell stories and laugh ourselves a bit silly. So we are grateful, too, for an old-fashioned family Sunday, and a very good reason to make Soup!

For lunch today, my husband made us a delicious vegetable soup with lots of ginger. We added last night’s whole wheat Rotini pasta and fresh parmesan cheese and ate it with a chunk of fresh-baked sage bread. As he was spooning his last few bites, my husband said,  “Soup should be a requirement on a rainy day. It is so warming. It just feels essential.” Morgan and I purred our agreement.

To make this simple, quick and essential soup ~

Sauté one small chopped onion, two cloves of garlic and three slices of ginger in enough safflower oil to cover the bottom of a soup pot until the onions are golden and soft. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, two diced potatoes, two sliced carrots, one chopped celery, and any other vegetables you have on hand and would like to add. We added french beans and broccoli. Stir on medium heat to coat the vegetables thoroughly in the oil mixture.

Add four cups of water and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes. Serve warm with fresh, warm rosemary or sage bread.